No free lunch…?

Been pretty quiet recently and not posted anything whilst my blog partner has been busy posting his take on the audio mania.

Actually been busy and very (very…) focused doing the “metal” side of my replica western electric horns. Yes the castings models. Here for the western electric 12a. My previous moulds got damaged at the foundry! I mean crushed! So even if insurance policies work for such events making them again was the challenge I was faced with once again. Lucky I keep the drawings taken from originals….but the challenge because I actually do not like making patterns that much. Getting these done by a workshop costs an arm and a leg (of more than one of the family members!) I can spend endless days shaping and putting into form the wonderful western electric horns. I feel rewarded that I can do this every time I make one for fellow passionate individuals around the planet. Somehow the ultra detail and somewhat backward way of working gets at my nerves when doing pattern making. Not surprising that traditional pattern making is disappearing as technology creeps in at an ever increasingly fast rate just too many days or weeks of work!  It’s however wonderful to work at a slow pace in an accelerated world.  As I make the patterns for western electric parts (cast iron) it’s evident that they made no shortcuts at all! The cost of labour in the 1920’s was not such an issue as today and the resource also tremendous. Now T and B allowed me to see some original prints made of the western electric patterns and casting process. An experienced eye can see straight away how extreme there used to be. The when you read on the original plans “as close as commercially possible”….and who ever said that tolerances were the key to it all? Hummmm what are they saying? Its the inner section of the throat that counts the most as we all know. Getting that correct with molten iron is “just” a factor of craft and time. I am very fortunate to work with S and G at the foundry. They are fully involved in my endeavours to produce as close to original as feasible. We have spent countless hours going over the details just to get things right. Anyway here is a snapshot taken in the early hours. Here we are going over the last details with S and before he gets that cast iron molten to then reincarnate the western electric 12a throat, brackets and fixtures.

Thanks S and G…they had a free lunch with me!

all fun…






  1. Tim,
    I was reading your post and stopped here for a few minutes to think “It’s however wonderful to work at a slow pace in an acelerated world.”

    We have all become used to this worlds fast pace, constant email, cell phones, texting, never a quite moment from work or friends. I admire and am in awe at what you can build using your hands, old world tools and patience!

    So sorry for the loss of your moulds, but knowing you the new ones will be even better! I so enjoy the blog you have created. You and Eckart are completely opposite with regard to your music systems, but you both have the same goal which makes reading so interesting.

    Enjoy the day.


  2. I love this sort of work, being an ex Machinist/Welder/Fabricator it brings back many memories of some of the interesting things that can be made with sand casting or similar. Its also a great chance to improve upon the original design if that is even a desire? But being cast the possibility of a different alloy being used is something to think about? Adding a touch of modern tech to the old design could bring more improvements than are thought possible. Perhaps even just a subtle change to the throats dimensions and frequency resonance could bring very improved tonal results?
    Naturally it is a challenge as much of it could be trial and error but that’s where the learning happens. Its also time consuming and money hungry so having the ability to do it would be critical unless you had endless time and money to invest in very well what could just be a hobby with no thoughts of making a business of it. But the fact that Timothy is even doing this is something that impresses me! It takes a certain person with drive and passion to fulfill this. Its nice to see the mix of art and music is alive!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s